So where did the inspiration for this site come from?
I am glad you asked. I am a qualified teacher of Economics, Commerce, Geography and Business Studies. I have however taught in most faculties at length as a causal, temporary and permanent staff member in both the public and private education systems. I also have commercial experience in business and Information Technology that goes back to 1981. I am, along with the hosting platform for Moodle and the student ePortfolio, located in Newcastle Australia.
I really started to use my education skills in the public education system in the early 2000s. It became clear to me quite quickly that schools are about the administration of education rather than delivering what students require which is engagement for learning. My program builds on this administrative aspect using the knowledge available at school as a library or perhaps to use more applicable language as a database to be accessed for various applications. While I see really great teachers engaging with students I believe we can go much further relating future prospects to the learning opportunities at school. In other words making school relevant.
In those early days I became concerned about the development of a group of indigenous boys who had absolutely no interest in school. It was clear something different had to happen. After a discussion with these students we embarked on an engagement strategy that produced positive results. Notwithstanding these results, I was informed by my then Principal that “this is not what we do”. He told me that while he was impressed with the results I was achieving, I could not continue. Of course this made no sense. I think he was hamstrung by a rigid delivery based system. But that was his wish and his school so I moved on.
Enter the private education system. This was a very interesting time for me as I was teaching the same students Mathematics, Science and Commerce (Junior High School Students). I was able to test the notion that students pigeon hole information in the same silos in which they interact with education. This is a longer story for another time.
Knowing my technology background, the private school engaged my services to construct a new technology environment from the ground up. I realised this could could be done for public education as well. Managing technology and its uses brought me back to public education for a number of years. During this time I supported a number of schools by hosting their LMS (Moodle). I also rescued a few schools from poor implementations of Moodle and learned a lot about schools and LMS adoption during this time.
Before completing my work in public schools I was able to establish a student owned and managed environment that brought students from every age group in secondary school together. This took the form of a computer games club where students would engage in game playing, testing each others skills. This environment led to questions regarding how things worked in the games being played. The answers to those questions came from the lessons and teachers of those students and were then presented to the group. I simply acted as a guide pointing students in an appropriate direction to obtain an answer. Knowing my time at this school was ending I attempted without success to find a teacher to continue with the program. The teachers that attended our meetings were fascinated by how these students interacted, with year 7 students assisting year 12 as well as students who were seen as perhaps introverted displaying supportive and collaborative behavior . The students developed and managed this environment by collaboratively writing and implementing a code of conduct and a membership policy. My teaching colleagues could not believe that all of the particular students who were involved could function as they were. Needless to say it was extremely disappointing to me that no-one would take the reins. I ran into one of the students from that group about a year after leaving the school and I was informed that most of the students still met in an unofficial capacity. That was a wow moment.
Its the above experiences and more that has led to the development of Prosperity, a program to engage students and to prepare them for life beyond school. Life beyond school requires students to have a far broader view of the world than previous generations and they may have to engage with others on a global basis (outside social media). Students need to engage with that world to be prosperous. This program was offered to a number of NSW High School Principals who were excited about the program and its possibilities. Agreements were signed to implement the program. No amount of prodding or support visits could get any of these Principals on track or to even execute those fundamental things they had agreed to. If you have ever tried to perform anything at a school wide level you probably know what I mean. There is a story here about ethical standards, politicians and public service agencies including the NSW Department of Education for anyone who is registered on this site and wants to know including an unanswered letter to the Premier of NSW. I may even publish all the correspondence as I am sure people will find it interesting how government agencies operate. Learning from this I have now rebuilt the program and aimed it directly at teachers and students as well as schools.
What does this mean for Teachers?
An enhancement of your everyday teaching by helping you move to your own digital platform when delivering lesson content. This means you don’t have to re-invent the wheel when starting each year or even each term. Instead you can call on the work you have already tested, tweak it if necessary to improve it based on experience and then present it again saving huge amounts of time and obtaining better results. This is your own LMS which goes with you no matter where you teach. To achieve this we are providing registered Qualified Practicing Teachers (QPT) with a LMS in this case a MOODLE without cost. FREE. You can enrol your students, post your lessons, create self marking assessment tasks and have all benefits of a digital platform at absolutely no cost. FREE. This is the end result of years of experience and challenges. Considerable thought has therefore gone into this aspect and how to make things work so use the LMS with confidence. You will need to register via our Registration Page and your LMS will be available when we reach our first Milestone. You can also read our Vision statement. I will also point out that running an effective LMS is your only commitment to any program going forward. Running an effective LMS is fundamental to any engagement strategy and I would be grateful, and so will your students, for your support in doing so.
What does this mean for Schools?
It means that you no longer need deliberate on whether to have an LMS or not based on virtually any restriction. There are no upload or download limits, no limits on the number of teachers and students that can be registered, there are generous storage limits so you can create any course you wish, your Moodle is supported technically so you can be sure it will be running. MoodleCentral will host your LMS without cost to your school. Yes that’s FREE. Just use the School Registration Form.
Please read School Milestones